10 billion tonnes of carbon

This is the amount we literally dumped in our atmosphere last year alone and this keeps on increasing according to new research carried out by the Global Carbon Project.

It’s no surprise as I evoked it earlier, but this new study provides further data and details according to countries (or continents) but also of activities such as cement making or deforestation.

It also provides us data on how Earth absorbs less and less of all these pollutants, making it even harder for us to go back to a more normal situation.

Here are the conclusions from the PowerPoint presentation of the Global Carbon Project before it went down  :

  • Anthropogenic CO2 emissions are growing x4 faster since 2000 than during the previous decade, and above the worst case emission scenario of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
  • All these changes have led to an acceleration of atmospheric CO2 growth 33% faster since 2000 than in the previous two decades, implying a stronger climate forcing and sooner than expected.
  • Less Developed Countries are now emitting more carbon than Developed Countries.
  • The carbon intensity of the world’s economy is improving slower than previous decades.
  • The efficiency of natural sinks has decreased by 5% over the last 50 years (and will continue to do so in the future), implying that the longer it takes to begin reducing emissions significantly, the larger the cuts needed to stabilize atmospheric CO2.

The presentation gives us further details on carbon sinks :

  • Natural CO2 sinks absorb 55% of all anthropogenic carbon emissions slowing down climate change significantly.
  • They are in effect a huge subsidy to the global economy worth half a trillion US$ annually if an equivalent sink had to be created using other climate mitigation options

If you wanted more information on this, please read this most interesting press release from the Agence France Presse.

It is high time for us and our leaders to act globally and massively on climate change as we have only seven years to reverse the trend.

It won’t be easy, but solutions exist.

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